NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Thursday forced to cancel his visit to his Varanasi Parliamentary constituency in UP due to heavy rains for the second time in the last couple of weeks. Modi was scheduled to have landed in the temple town on Thursday afternoon on a one-day visit. However, the local BJP leaders reportedly said that death of a labourer at the venue was one of the reasons why the PM chose to call off the visit. According to the district administration, the labourer-- identified as Devnnath reportedly hailing from Midnapur in West Bengal-- was decorating the stage with flowers when he came in contact with a live wire. He was rushed to the nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. Local police officials declined to give details of the labourer’s death.
Since Thursday early morning, there were frantic efforts on to pump out water from DLW ground, where the PM was scheduled to address the public meeting. Modi was also scheduled to lay the foundation stone of a ring road and kick-start the Integrated Power Development Scheme.
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was expected to receive the PM at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport at Babatpur, from where both would have travelled by helicopter to the BHU campus.
The PM’s rally at the same venue had to be cancelled on June 28, because heavy rain had left the grounds waterlogged. This time, the BJP had said, better arrangements had been made.
Power Grid Corporation of India had been asked to erect a special waterproof pandal at the venue. Three special technicians were summoned from New Delhi and a large number of workers had worked round the clock to prepare the venue for the PM’s visit, a senior BJP functionary had said. A special floor was made by first laying bricks and then covering them with plywood, he said, adding that water pumps had been installed to meet the contingencies. Those water pumps were put to use on Thursday morning.